If there was ever a time to invest in a quality blow dryer, it’s now, right before the holidays when you’re (gasp!) expected to see friends and family members. According to Irving Ramirez, hair stylist at LRN BEAUTY in New York City, it’s important to find the perfect dryer that not only cuts down on the time you spend styling your hair, but also helps protect the integrity and health of your hair,
The amount of watts is also important. In fact, Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, a celebrity hairstylist who’s worked with the likes of Keke Palmer, Tiffany Haddish, Nafessa Williams, and Tika Sumpter, suggests going with blow dryers that have at least 1500 watts. “This tells you how powerful the dryer is, so the higher the watts, the faster the dry,” she says.
If you have thick, curly or frizzy hair, you’ll want to look for a dryer that has ionic or tourmaline technology. This, Taylor explains, means that the dryer gives off negative ions, which helps to break up the water droplets on your hair for faster drying, which will make your hair less frizzy. If you have very fine hair, it’s best to shop for dryers made with ceramic or porcelain technology. “These dryers distribute heat in a less harsh way, which is perfect for fine hair that can dehydrate easily,” she says.
Ready to shop for quality dryers? Here are the best ones in every price range— from the coveted Dyson hair dryer to the Instagram favorite Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer.
Best Hair Dryer for Under $100
Finding a high-quality blow dryer that will last you longer than a year tops for less than 50 bucks is pretty close to impossible. Well, we introduce you to the impossible: the InfinitiPRO by Conair 1875 Watt AC Pro Hair Dryer, which takes your regular hotel blow dryer and ups it several notches without overdoing it on the price tag (which is refreshing, to say the least). It’s lightweight (just 2 pounds!), yet it packs a powerful punch, with an AC motor that makes styling a breeze — literally. It’s fast-drying without causing unnecessary frizz thanks to dual ionic and ceramic technology that protects strands from heat damage (something we especially appreciate during the summer months). We’re also super into the black color with rose gold accents that make this blow dryer feel like it should belong on your vanity or under your bathroom sink.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I love the hair dryer. Don’t let the price mislead you. Yes, the dryer is cheap but powerful. It’s quite lightweight so makes it easy to travel with. On top of being lightweight it does feel and look nice. The color is a beautiful matte black finish which makes it look more expensive than it is. Don’t even get me started with the drying power. This hair dryer got my hair dried faster than other products I used in the past.”
Chances are, you have heard about this hair dryer that everyone has been raving about. It’s not your average blow dryer, that’s for sure. In fact, it’s different in a few ways. First thing first: It’s a brush and a hair dryer all in one. Yep, no need to use a brush while styling with this product, which is designed with nylon pins and tufted bristles to help detangle while you blow dry and add major volume for that fresh-out-of-the-salon look. It packs decent power (1100 watts), has three different heat settings, and is built with an ion generator to help speed up the drying process. The ceramic coating helps prevent hair from breakage and ensures even distribution of heat while you’re drying. Need another reason? This dryer currently has over 256,000 five-star reviews, which... wow.
One Reviewer Wrote: “My daughter had one and I reluctantly tried it. But wow. Then stayed at my niece’s house and she was using one. Again, wow! I have fairly thick hair and shoulder length. This cuts my time in half! Plus I’m styling it at the same time! Looks good the second day, too!”
There’s a lot to love about the BaBylissPRO Nano. The 2000 watts dryer has proven to be an excellent choice between your standard drugstore dryer and the pricier models. Plus, it’s hard not to love the gorgeous color it comes in. It uses ionic technology, so you can say goodbye to frizz. It has a nine-foot power cord and six heat settings, along with a cold shot button that locks. It also comes with a concentrator nozzle, which can help you achieve your style.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I typically get moderately priced hair dryers and they work just fine. I needed a new one and my hairdresser uses this one and recommended it. Again I never pay this much for a hair dryer but I would buy this one again in a heartbeat. I have very thick wavy hair and this blow dryer cuts my drying time in half! I typically blow dry my hair mostly straight before I curl it and it does that so fast. I can’t say it’s great for traveling but it’s no bigger than an average hair dryer.”
Best Hair Dryer for Under $200
This blow dryer puts the rest of them to shame, and at a fraction of the price. Some of its best features include its four different temperature settings to help prevent damage to dry, brittle strands, that it comes with a lifespan of 2000 hours “guaranteed,” according to its website, and two separate attachment nozzles. It also comes with a 9-foot-long cable cord so that you’re not tied to your vanity or bathroom sink. It is also ultra-lightweight.
One Reviewer Wrote: “So glad I finally got a dryer that blows cold air at a high speed. Love it.”
It’s not every day that you come across a hair dryer meant for curly hair—but anyone with curly hair understands the need for a blow dryer that caters to their strands specifically. The DevaCurl does—and then some. It’s not only built to uphold your beautiful curls in all their glory, but it’s also ionic, which means it cuts down on pesky frizz. Its greatest asset without question, however, is the diffuser that comes with it (included in the price), called the DevaFuser. Unlike a regular diffuser, this one looks straight-up like a hand. It has five, finger-like prongs and 50 air vents that disperse hot air throughout your head of hair evenly so that your curls fall beautifully, as they should.
One Reviewer Wrote: “This is a really high-quality and premium hair dryer, on par with other premium Ionic hair dryers I have used from brands like T3 and Chi. It has a solid feel in the hand, and has a rubberized finish that feels expensive and gives you great grip. There's a 3-position heat switch and a 3-position fan speed switch. There's a button to enable or disable Ionic mode, which is useful if you want to turn it off to get more volume (as opposed to more frizz control and more shine that you'll get from Ionic mode on). The dryer has lots of power and can move lots of air, and temperatures are very well-controlled – hot but not so hot that it will damage your hair like some cheaper dryers.”
This well-respected Italian hair care brand released this innovative and ultra-lightweight hair dryer that promises to cut your normal hair-drying time in half. It has a heat control system that prevents it from burning the hair, making it an ideal choice even for those with dry, brittle strands as well as fine hair. The motor is tested for over 5,000 hours of use (compared to the usual 2,000 hours for most hair dryers), which is why it is a favorite among hair stylists who pretty much spend their entire day with a dryer in hand. It’s both ionic and ceramic, which in and of itself helps prevent hair from overheating and also increases natural shine. Even if you don’t use a round brush for your blowouts, this blow dryer will leave your hair looking like you had it professionally done.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I love these hair dryers! This is the fourth I've purchased... because I want one in each bathroom, plus I gave one to my daughter who loves them equally as well. They are wonderfully quiet when operating and highly effective in drying quickly. Temperature control is excellent. They are much more expensive than many other dryers, but worth every additional dollar.”
Best Hair Dryer for Under $300
This dryer is built to last you years, if not decades, making its expensive price tag well worth the money. It dries your hair super fast without burning the crap out of it thanks to five heat settings and two varying speeds that you can choose from, depending on your hair type and its needs. It also has a sensor that automatically stops the flow of air when you release the ergonomically slanted handle so your hair doesn’t get caught—one of Taylor’s favorite features. Looking for even more volume? Simply flick on the volume booster switch on the Cura Luxe and you will have blow-out-worthy height in no time.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I don’t normally bother with reviews, but this hairdryer ticks all the boxes for me: it’s lightweight, very easy to handle, has a long white cord, and best of all it makes my hair look great. If you are worried about the auto-shutoff feature, it is actually quite nice. It has a delay built in which allows for moving from hand to hand. You can also deactivate the auto-shutoff if it bothers you. I never thought I would pay so much for hair dryer, but it’s worth it! Obviously, I’m very happy with it.”
There is a good reason this goes by the name “ultralight” and that’s because it hovers just over 1 pound (1.1 to be exact), which is super light for a blow dryer. This means you won’t have to deal with dreaded arm cramps mid-blow dry (while your obnoxious child tries to pants you). In addition to being lightweight, it is also super-fast drying, which also comes in handy when you have a toddler attempting to climb every dangerous object in your home. But perhaps the best perk of this promising hair appliance is the fact that it comes with a 10-year warranty. That’s right — they built this puppy to last you a full decade to be exact.
One Reviewer Said: “So, this is by far the strongest and most efficient blow dryer I have ever used. It is also so very light. I was surprised. It is so strong that when I was using it and my husband turned on the microwave, my electric shut off on that side of my house and my husband had to go in the garage to flip the circuit breaker. So, I figure it's using a lot of power. I have never had that happen with another blow dryer.”
Best Really High-End Hair Dryer
This might seem like an exorbitant amount for a hair dryer, but there’s a good reason top salons and stylists swear by the Dyson—and why it has over 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. For starters, some of its best features include the fact that it’s lightweight (just under two pounds), super compact (which is great for traveling, whenever we’re able to do that again), has four different heat settings and it’s incredibly powerful—that’s why reviewers say it gives them the quickest blow dry they’ve ever had. That last one is a major plus because not having to spend upwards of 20 minutes blow-drying your hair means you can tackle more of the hundred or so other things on your to-do list for the day. “Because it’s a supersonic dryer, it pre-dries the hair quickly leaving little-to-no space to damage the hair during styling,” says Ramirez. “Not only that, but it’s also very safe to use at home because it won’t suck your hair through the back of the dryer like older dryer models do.”
One Reviewer Wrote: “Absolutely the best blow dryer I have ever used or owned. The cost of the product seems VERY high, however, this is absolutely a product that you get what you pay for. I’ve used it on my natural hair and it was insanely fast at drying my hair along with staying at a temperature that has never burned my scalp or my hair. I’ve had tape-in extensions and now sewn-in extensions over the last 6 years and this blow dryer is by far the best I’ve ever used when it comes to extensions as well... it seems to have been made for every type of hair real, fake or whatever the texture or kind of hair anyone was born with, purchased, real or fake.”
Now that you have a blow dryer you can rely on, be sure to stock up on more of our favorite beauty must-haves!
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